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Sunday, 23 September 2007


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Magnum sold its soul for access when it accepted 'embedded' status with the coalition forces in Iraq. Although their photographers are good, I no longer have respect for them, quite frankly, as they have turned into propagandists who are making a living off of the suffering of impoverished peoples. Photographers shouldn't just play the "eye in the sky"/objective card, they have a responsibility to make the world a better place, instead, the Magnum guys have accepted a paycheck from big oil stained with the blood of coalition forces.

They have become war pornographers and profiteers, no better than Blackwater security or other war criminals.

Looking at slideshows like this:


its easy to see why people kill photo-journalists. Where are the photos of dead american and british soldiers, actual bodies? You won't find any on Magnum's site, I dare you to try. Wanna know why? They might lose their press pass.

Where are the Magnum photographers following Shia death squads beheading American soldiers? How about photos of a successful IED with American bodies strewn around a disembowled Humvee?

These things happen everyday. Too bad Magnum refuses to be objective... they are now complicit in a war that profits off of human suffering. They prefer shots of supposed "good guys" enforcing democracy with the barrel of a gun.

They might have ended this war if they had the photographers they had 40 years ago, but they don't.

They are a bunch of creampuffs.

Hmm, i guess losing the press pass would be one of the less serious problems they'd encounter when trying to return to the US after having been with rebels in the iraq...

Yunfat has been drinking the left wing kool aid pretty heavy. I for one am glad we went to Iraq. I wish we send in more forces.

Yunfat,since when is it the news photographer job to end the war. It is his or her job to report the war objectively. The war will be over when the American and coalition forces bring peace and stability to the people of Iraq. It may be hard for you to believe, but some folks who tune into this blog are supporters of the President and brave men and women who are serving in the war. The Blackwater security folk provide a very valuable service to our diplomatic core and to the civilian contractors that are helping to rebuild the infrastructure that the former leader of the country let fall to disarray. He was too busy killing his own people. And as our general in charge of our Iraq forces reported ( I don’t know if you saw that, it was on TV), we are now making good progress. E.

yunfat said;

They might have ended this war if they had the photographers they had 40 years ago, but they don't.

Maybe so? Not sure about that one. I'd guess the State Dept. might have a bit more to say about what is published right or wrong? Maybe this proves your point rather well.....

One thing is for sure. George Bush could end that war this minute.

Interesting post

Who is the Robert Capa of the Iraq war?

It's very true. Everything is going fine in Iraq. The Mission was Accomplished when we were greeted as liberators, and since then we have been spreading prosperity and keeping order in that country. The Iraqis are all BIG supporters of the USA and our forces. They like us so much they are going to give us all their oil! They don't need to do that, of course, but it's very nice of them.


> And as our general in charge of our Iraq forces reported, we are now making good progress.

This, after the earlier "If Guys..." post , make it a pretty funny day on TOP today!

Yunfat, I don't know what you do for a living, but I don't think you know what you are talking about.

If you violate the Pentagon rules, while you are embedded, you are thrown out. Game over. And yes, the Pentagon (Dick Cheney) has designed the rules so that the US public (or anyone else) does not get a clear picture of what is happening over there. Cheney, who was the Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, did the same thing during that war, except this time around the restrictions are a lot stiffer.

As an example, according to the rules you now have to get what amounts to a signed model release from a member of the US military, if they are depicted wounded or killed and you want to publish their picture.

Do you really think anyone is going to get up in front of a platoon, before they head out and ask them to sign a release form, just in case one of them is unlucky enough to get wounded or killed? How many reporters do you think will approach the relatives of someone, who was wounded or killed, to sign a release form? How many reporters are going to go up to a GI, who is torn to pieces and ask them to sign a release form? The answer is probably none.

If you want to get angry at someone, take it out on the media corporations, who do not want to upset Washington, while they are lobbying to further their business. The you can move on to their advertisers also don't want pictures of the dead and wounded next to their products. After that give the White House a call.

Currently the security situation on the ground is so dangerous that no westerner can move around, outside of the Green Zone or their fortified compound, unless they are embedded with a US military unit or escorted by a heavily armed private security service. It's that simple.

If you travel on your own to interview someone or take pictures, you are almost guaranteed not to come back alive.

The vast majority of pictures that you see are taken by local Iraqi or Arab photographers, since they are the only ones who stand a chance of coming back alive and many of them don't.

Approaching death squads for pictures? You are kidding, right?

>They are a bunch of creampuffs

Ok, here's what we'll do. We'll take up a collection and buy you a D200 and ticket to Bagdad. Shoot us an email from your hotel, if you survive the ride from the airport.

We'll see if you are any braver than the nearly 200 journalists who have died so far covering this mess.


No more political comments, please, okay? I just thought it was kind of funny that in the old days you could be a member of Magnum if Bob Capa said "your photography was sort of interesting." That's all.


I worked for Burt Glinn for 2 years & let me tell you I have a quote of the day for every day of those 2 years!

He was (and I hope he still is) one sharp guy.

Yes Mike, you nailed it - go to the top of the class ;-)

> No more political comments, please, okay? <

That's all Magnum have to say, then get back to what they did best, pure, talented, PHOTOGRAPHY!

Everybody, it seems, has a friggin (political) axe to grind nowerdays (New York Times anyone)..........


PS. Who's this guy shooting a square Haselblad for the NY Times, great stuff - now just give HIM (instead of the political Hacks) a full page and I'll subscribe to the darn thing!


I take my hat off to all the journalists who cover war and disasters. I tried that line of work for a while and could not take the life style and stress at all.

I think it was Bresson who said "How many people have to die so some one can be a member of Magnum?"

"No more political comments, please, okay? I just thought it was kind of funny that in the old days you could be a member of Magnum if Bob Capa said "your photography was sort of interesting." That's all.


Does that go for you too, Mike? I know it's your blog and all, but when you make inflammatory and/or political posts, it more or less begs others to do the same, doesn't it?

I'm not responsible for my actions. I can't help myself. If other people keep commenting, I'll have to comment more, and I don't want to. Help out poor Mikey here.



There might be a few people shooting Hasselblads on staff at the NY Times.

Fred Conrad is an amazing photographer and he shoots with a 6x6 Rollei as well as 4x5 Polaroid and many other interesting formats.

He's always trying something different and his work is fantastic. You could call it "fine art photojournalism"



I appreciate you not censoring comments (as far as I know), even if they are inflammatory.

Thsi is meant as non-political.

Reading through the above en masse I can't help remembering all the fine photos that came out of the Vietnam conflict depicting pain and suffering on all sides and wondering what part they played in the eventual resolution of the war.

"Those who believe that photographic reportage is "selective and objective, but cannot interpret the photographed subject matter," show a complete lack of understanding of the problems and the proper workings of this profession. The journalistic photographer can have no other than a personal approach; and it is impossible for him to be completely objective. Honest—yes. Objective—no."

Eugene Smith


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